Author Archives: alvi

Personal Success Secrets – Be Willing to Change!

Our personal success stories all have to begin somewhere…but our success stories should never end on the same page they began with.

What I mean is, for personal success to happen, our success stories should always be in progression. A new chapter should begin with each new change in our profession and with each new demand of society. We should never be stuck in the old way of doing things when our profession and the public’s demands are changing.

I have had quite a few businesses, but the first was as General Contractor.

Fresh out of school I started as a laborer, digging ditches, running a jackhammer and sweeping floors. I was making decent money, but the work was hard and I could see that being a laborer would get me nowhere fast. So I entered the carpenter union’s apprenticeship program.

This meant learning new things and creating new skills…right up my personality-type alley. I enjoyed it for around five years, until I realized that there would be more opportunity if I could become a General Contractor. I could run the business the way I thought best, make more money, and have more time with my family…if I did it right.

During my first two years of contracting, I did very well. However, I noticed a trend that could spell disaster for larger companies as the market was weakening. I kept my crew small and worked side by side with the two young men I had hired and trained. I drew the plans, laid out the houses, pounded nails, and built some beautiful custom homes, along with keeping the remodeling part of the business going.

When the market did fail, we kept moving right along, making a good living. In the mean time many of the contractors who kept going as they had always done with their huge crews, were stuck with unsold homes and finally folded.

I just kept plugging along, doing room additions and remodeling…and doing well.

So why am I telling you this and what does this have to do with your personal success?

First of all, I am not telling you this to boast in any way, but to encourage you. If you are to have personal success you must keep your eyes on the demands and desires of the customers in your industry. Be willing to change with the signs of the times.

The Schwinn bicycle company had been around for several hundred years, but folded around 30 years ago. They made great and popular bikes, but the member of the family who took over for this generation of bikes was unwilling to change with the times. He insisted on doing things the same way the Schwinn Company had always done things. As a result, they lost millions of dollars and the Schwinn family business went down the tubes.

Personal Success Secrets – Learn to Accept Criticism and Be a Good Listener!

If you aim to achieve personal success, you must learn this one little secret: Constructive criticism is a good thing!

Nobody likes to be criticized. I don’t like to be criticized. Criticism makes me feel bad…it rubs me the wrong way. But I must embrace it if I am to progress in my business and personal life.

What’s your first response to criticism? Do you, like most people, immediately go into defensive mode?

It’s so easy to get defensive when someone tries to tell us something for our own good.

I can remember a time, many years ago, when I saw a dear friend doing something that was not going to turn out good for her. So, being the good and loving friend that I am, I went to her and told her that what she was doing was wrong and that it would not turn out good.

I was nice and I was clear. It was obvious that what she was doing was not a good thing, so I thought she would say, “Gee thanks, I didn’t see that,” and then give me a big hug and go on her happy way.

As you have probably already guessed, that is not what happened. She got very defensive and somewhat offensive… and I lost a friend.

This is an unfortunate story. I lost a friend by telling her the truth, and she suffered for her defensiveness. She just wasn’t willing to listen to any criticism no matter how right or caring I was.

If you want personal success in whatever you do, you must avoid responding negatively to criticism and learn to listen.

When I was a young man, starting out in the construction trade as a carpenter apprentice, I had to listen to a lot of criticism. But that criticism was like gold to me. It meant learning, growing, and doing things right. No, I didn’t always appreciate it, but I did grow from it.

So fix this thought in your mind: “Defensiveness is the attitude of failures.” And for personal success, learn to take criticism as a blessing, do not get defensive, and be a good listener!